McArthur deeply concerned at SQA methodology for determining Higher results

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has expressed deep concern at reports from across Scotland that thousands of estimated Higher education grades based on teacher predictions have been downgraded by the SQA based on past school performances, disproportionally impacting on students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mr McArthur commented:

“Young people in Orkney and across the country should be proud of their efforts and achievements this year, particularly given the unprecedented challenges they have faced.  Likewise, teachers deserve credit for having gone above and beyond to support pupils through this hugely difficult time.

“While many will be delighted with their results yesterday, it is clear that others will feel understandably shocked and let down at the way in which their grades have been lowered.

“There has been no transparency about the way in which this process of ‘marking down’ has taken place.  There has been no opportunity for concerns to be raised about the way in which it appears to ‘lock in’ existing discrepancies between pupils for different schools.  And there is now every likelihood that the appeals process will be overwhelmed, at a time when teachers are frantically preparing for the return of pupils to school next week.

“Scottish Ministers need to get a grip of this unholy mess.  It is unreasonable and unfair for pupils to pay the price for the mistakes made by this Scottish Government and the SQA”.

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